Ryan Hunter-Reay to Co-Drive with Max Angelelli and Wayne Taylor at Grand Am Season Finale in Utah WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (Aug. 11, 2006) - SunTrust Racing has tabbed American driver Ryan Hunter-Reay to partner with Max Angelelli and Wayne Taylor ...
Ryan Hunter-Reay to Co-Drive with Max Angelelli and Wayne Taylor at Grand Am Season Finale in Utah
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. (Aug. 11, 2006) - SunTrust Racing has tabbed American driver Ryan Hunter-Reay to partner with Max Angelelli and Wayne Taylor in the Daytona Prototype division of the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series race at Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah. The nine-hour race on Sept. 2 at the sprawling 4.486-mile road course outside Salt Lake City is the season finale for the Rolex Series.
Miller will mark Hunter-Reay's debut in a Daytona Prototype, with the 25-year-old Dallas, Texas, native joining Angelelli and Taylor in the No. 10 SunTrust Pontiac Riley as the trio look to add a second series championship to the one the SunTrust Racing Team earned in 2005.
"Ryan is everything we could want in a driver," said Taylor, driver/owner of the SunTrust Racing Team. "He's very fast, young, all-American and Max rates him very highly. He fits our team. It was an easy decision to make."
The No. 10 SunTrust Racing Team is currently second in the championship standings with just three races remaining, including tonight's Crown Royal 200 at Watkins Glen. They're locked in a tight point battle with the series leading Krohn Racing Team, as a mere 13 points separate the two. Taylor knows that winning is the only way SunTrust Racing can earn a second straight title.
"Miller is a very technical circuit, with 24 corners in all. We're going to give the car to Ryan on that first day of practice so that he can acclimate himself quickly," said Taylor. "Good, fast race car drivers can get in anything and be consistently fast. That's Ryan. He's always shown to be a quick study, on and off the track. He has a good head on his shoulders and is extremely professional - a perfect fit for our organization."
Hunter-Reay's career highlights prove Taylor correct.
By winning in Champ Car on the street circuit of Surfer's Paradise, Australia in 2003, Hunter-Reay became the youngest driver to ever win a Champ Car street race and the first American Champ Car rookie to win in 20 years. The former Formula Barber Dodge Series champion and 12-time karting titlist added to his Champ Car accolades in 2004 with a dominating performance at the Milwaukee Mile, winning the pole and leading all 250 laps to become the youngest driver in Champ Car history to win on an oval. And in leading wire-to-wire, Hunter-Reay broke the record for most laps led in a single race, a mark that had been set in 1993 by former Champ Car and Formula 1 champion Nigel Mansell.
"I'm honored SunTrust, Wayne Taylor and team partner Bill Riley have selected me to drive the No. 10 SunTrust Pontiac Riley in the Rolex Sports Car Series," said Hunter-Reay. "SunTrust Racing is the defending series champion, and it looks like this year's championship may come down to the last race at Miller.
"World-class sponsors, teams and drivers make the Rolex Series one of the most competitive in the world. I realize how crucial driver selection is, and I'm very grateful for this opportunity. I've been looking for the right situation to make my debut, and this is it. I could not ask for anything better than the SunTrust Racing Team and co-driving with two of the best drivers in the series - Wayne Taylor and defending driver champion Max Angelelli.
"With the championship on the line, I look forward to contributing to the SunTrust Racing Team's efforts in capturing another Rolex Sports Car Series title."
"Wayne Taylor, Max Angelelli and the entire SunTrust Racing Team are pouring all of their resources into defending their series championship. Ryan Hunter-Reay's addition to the team for the season finale is proof-positive of that," said Craig Kelly, corporate executive vice president and chief marketing officer of SunTrust Banks, Inc. "We're extremely proud of what this race team has accomplished. To come from 29th in points at the beginning of the year to climb to second and challenge for the championship is a good indication of the strength and tenaciousness of the SunTrust Racing Team."